Cp283 H8I E f t^^d p C&e Li&rarp of i|>e Ontoersitp of H3ort& Carolina Collection of ji2ort& Catolinfana from t&e Efbraq? of CpZS3 00034013264 This book must not be taken from the Library building. tssv Form No. 471 AN EPIPHANY PASTORAL TO THE CLERGY AND LAITY OF THE MISSIONARY DISTRICT OF ASHEVILLE. N. C. BISHOP HORNER Brethren of the Clergy and Laity of the District of Asheville : — More than ordinary responsibility is placed upon us by the extraordinary conditions of the world at this time. The ecclesiastical affairs of nations are in turmoil as well as the political. We are so closely bound together eco- nomically, socially and religiously that one nation cannot suffer greatly without disturbing somewhat the equilib- rium of all others. If the suffering be very great, the corresponding disturbance elsewhere is great. The interdependence of the nations upon one another as to their social and economic equilibrium makes the persent disturbed condition of the world a wonderful op- portunity for the religious forces of each nation to put into operation influences that will be world-wide in their effect, and everlasting. To make this influence felt intensely everywhere, each subject of the World King must work efficiently in every little corner, wherever the name of the World King is honored above all other names. Every layman must be prepared in heart and mind to do his part. Individual efficiency combined in corporate strength will ultimately gain the victory. We are prone to depend too much upon efficient lead- ership. We need this leadership, of course, but we also need efficient rank and file. The able and consecrated clergymen can do compara-  tively little, unless he is backed by the co-operation of his people, and the people will not co-operate until they have been instructed and trained. In our Church life, we have ignored too much and too long the priesthood of the laity. We must put the people to work. They must be instructed in the Bible and in the history of the Church. They must be properly equipped to go out and take hold of the great body of the indifferent who care not for holy things. There is a Church work to be done by the layman which no clergy- man can do. I beg, then, of my Clergy to offer the people under their charge, the opportunity to learn how to work. Form Bible classes and Church History classes. Many men are willing to work for Christ and His Church, if they only knew how and where. In this way each clergy- man might put two, five or ten men at work and so mul- tiply his own efficiency many times, it may be, in reaching out to, and gathering in, the multitudes who know not Christ and care not for His Church — and I beg of my brethren of the laity to offer themselves gladly to co- operate with the clergy in this time of the world's great need. We may be far away in the mountains, but, perhaps, we might be surprised to find how quickly some things said and done in some far away mountain cove are known in the great cities and affect directly or indirectly the Church life of "them that are far off and of them that are nigh." We do not live to ourselves, we are members  of the Church of God, which has no limitations in time or in space. We are living in an age, the most strenuous the world has ever known. To accomplish great things, it is often times necessary to deal with and use little things. The man, who neglects the little things, never has the opportunity to touch the big things of life. In the Eternity of God, Life and Death are not far apart; we may estimate life as small, and death as great; or we may consider death as small and life as great. Which shall it be ? For the Christian man, death is swal- lowed up in the victory of life. Often times the little things are so magnified that the really big things are hidden. In contemplating the unseen things of God, this occurs oftener than we might imagine. The history of the Church shows how often men have allowed comparatively little things to cause disturbances tremendous in their evil tendencies and results. A perti- nent instance is upon us at this very time in the disturb- ance caused by the proposed conference at Panama. In itself it might have been an indifferent affair, but because of the imagination of some as to what might be done or might be thought by some one else, it is causing much trouble. I have written this much as a kind of introduction to what I wish to say about some things that are looked upon with indifference in certain quarters because they touch in those places comparatively few people. In our District, however, certain objectionable teach- ings have assumed such proportions as to cause some of  our Church people distress, and alarm, and they wish an expression of opinion and advice from their Bishop. MEANING OF WORDS. Many words in every language from age to age change in their meaning and content. Two words pertaining to ecclesiastical affairs, have undergone a violent change in meaning and content, — the word Catholic, and the word Protestant. These words, as used now by perhaps nine-tenths of the people, have not the same meaning they originally and etymologically had. I. Original, etymological meaning of the words: Catholic — Universal, comprehensive, general. The Catholic Church=the Church for all peoples of all nations. Catholic doctrines and practices are the doc- trines and practices of the Bible as taught by the Apostles and their immediate successors. Protestant — (From two Latin words, pro — testis), wit- ness for. The Protestant Church=the Church wit- nessing for the truth of the Catholic faith against the errors and corruptions of the Church of the mediaeval period.  II. Present meaning of the words, (as used by the great majority of the people of the U. S.) : Catholic — Roman. The Catholic Church=the Roman Catholic Church. Protestant — Anti-Roman. A Protestant Church = a Church opposed to the Roman Catholic Church. There seems to be an almost hopeless confusion in the use of these words by certain extreme partisans in the Church. The so-called extreme Catholic party use the word Catholic as applied to themselves in its original meaning, and the word Protestant as applied to others in its second — present day — meaning. The so-called extreme Protestant party use the word Protestant as applied to themselves in its original, etymo- logical meaning, and the word Catholic as applied to others in its second — present day — meaning. This confusion as to the meaning of words, has caused much misunderstanding and hard feelings on the part of those who are full of partisanship in their thoughts and feelings, but we must bear in mind that the great majority of the membership of the Episcopal Church will not iden- tify themselves with either of these extreme parties, and this position is taken because neither of ignorance nor of timidity. We should all be both Protestant and Catholic if these words are used with their original significance, and we should be neither, if the words are used with their second derived significance.  AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH. There is, however, a more serious tendency than this contention over the meaning and use of words. There is a feeling on the part of some that the Protestant Episco- pal Church has comparatively little authority as to the doctrines and practices of her members, and none at all when in conflict with the teaching and practice of the Church of the past twelve or thirteen centuries. Since the Ecumenical Councils, held before the divis- ion between the Church of the East and the Church of the West, there has been no council of the whole Church, but only National and Provincial councils. No National or Provincial Council has authority except over the people within the nation or province. The General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church is a body of as great dignity, learning and author- ity as any council held in any country at any time since the Ecumenical Councils of the first centuries. It is the only conucil that has any authority to legislate on certain matters for the people of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. A National Council legislates as to doctrine and prac- tice, by Canon-Law, by Liturgy, by Offices of devotion, authorized for use by the people. A Church Council of one nation has no authority what- ever to legislate for the Church people of another nation and of another time. The individual has no authority whatever in contra- vention of the Council to which he owes allegiance. [81 Individuals of every age may be cited, perhaps, to prove most any doctrine, if individual testimony were suf- ficient to establish the truth of the doctrine. The source of authority for any doctrine or practice, if traced only to the decrees of some National Council, is worthless as far as the people of another nation and an- other age are concerned. These are important and ac- cepted principles in the determination of ecclesiastical matters. The General Convention of the Protestant Epis- copal Church has as much right and authority to put forth a manual of devotion in her Prayer Book, outlining doc- trines and practices, as any Council of the Church of Eng- land, or of France, or of Rome, and this convention is the only one that has any authority as to such matters for the members of the Church in this country. MEDIAEVAL CHURCH. During the Middle Ages, after the first few centuries when the Church was undivided, the Roman Church grew enormously in influence and power. It was during this period that certain doctrines and practices gained a dom- inating influence that became, because of their baneful results, intolerable to a great body of the people in Eng- land and in Europe. The opposition to these doctrines and practices culminated in the Reformation of the six- teenth century. I wish to call your attention to three of these doctrines and practices that were specially objection- able : I. Auricular Confession and Penance. II. Perpetual Reservation of the Blessed Sacra- ment.  III. Invocation of Saints. These doctrines and practices (the practice and doc- trine always go together), can be traced back to no ecu- menical council ; and no national or provincial council, to which they may be traced, has any authority, whatever, for the Church people of this country. Citations may be made from certain holy and good men of the early Church in support of these things, but individuals are not compe- tent as authority in such matters. The Bible, the Creeds, and the Liturgies authorized by the Church of the Apos- tolic age and of the centuries immediately following, alone can be cited to justify the claim for doctrine and practice as truly Catholic. AURICULAR CONFESSION. Private Auricular Confession was for the first time authorized and at the same time rendered obligatory in the Fourth Lateran Council, held in the year 121 5. This was a distinctive Roman Catholic Council. About the same time the form of absolution, "I absolve thee, etc.," was introduced in the Church. So doctrines, connected with the Confessional, are to be considered Mediaeval and Roman and not Catholic, in the credal sense of that term. Moreover, private auricular confession, except in case of emergency for a troubled conscience, and the form of absolution, "I absolve thee, etc.," with the doctrine and practice of penance, have been definitely repudiated by the Protestant Episcopal Church, and may not be taught or practiced with authority by any priest of the Church. These things are tolerated and practiced by some because  they believe them to be the practice of the Church from the first, but when we go back far enough and examine the records and manuals of the early Church, we find the confession public, and the absolution precatory, as in the Liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church of today. I dwell upon this matter at some length, because, though it may seem a matter of little import to some, yet when the history of the private confessional is studied, we find so much of evil resulting therefrom with so little good to counteract the evil, that the average man rebels. The Church of England protested, bearing witness to the truth of the Catholic faith of the first centuries. The Church of England and the Church in the United States of America continue to protest, to bear witness, against these Mediaeval practices. I give two extracts here, one from the title page of "The History of the Con- fessional," by Bishop Hopkins, which book I commend to all who wish to go into a thorough study of the subject, and the other from Hume, the historian. Hume, per- haps, may not be the highest authority as to facts of his- tory, yet when making an estimate of tendencies of the times, no one can be considered more trustworthy: "At what doth the doctrine concerning Auricular Confession aim, but that thereby the priests may have a mighty awe on the conscience of all people, may dive into their secrets, may manage their lives as they please? "And what doth a like necessary particular absolution intend, but to get the priest in a lofty state of authority above the people, as a judge of each man's condition and  dispenser of his salvation?" — Barrow, Treatise on the Pope's Supremacy." Hume speaks of Auricular Confession as "One of the most powerful engines that ever was contrived for de- grading the laity, and giving their spiritual guides an en- tire ascendant over them. And it may justly be said, that, though the priest's absolution, which attends confession, serves somewhat to ease weak minds from immediate agonies of superstitious terror, it operates only by enforc- ing superstition itself, and thereby preparing the mind for a more violent relapse into the same disorders." — Hume, History of England, Vol. III., p. 341. It is needless for me to go into particulars as to the other two doctrines and practices to which I referred, viz. : Perpetual Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and Invocation of Saints. Both of these are unauthorized by our Church, and are not Catholic, but Mediaeval prac- tices and are connected with evil and corrupt tendencies. Because of such tendencies and practices the Church of England made definite and decided protest. Do not, I beg of you, allow yourselves to be wedded to Roman and Mediaeval practices, thinking they are Catholic. Do not allow words to fret and worry you be- cause they are not properly used or correctly defined. The Protestant is or should be Protestant because he wishes to contend for and bear witness to the Catholic faith, as contained in the Bible and Creeds and upheld by the first ages of the Church. Be zealous workers for God and His Church, and pray  earnestly, that peace may be preached to them that are far off and to them that are nigh, and that God will hasten the coming of His Kingdom. The great work of the Church and of the individual is to extend the Kingdom of God. If we will magnify this duty, the little things of words and their meanings, and the misunderstandings as to motives will inevitably fall into obscurity, and we will all be the happier. The great majority of the membership of the Episco- pal Church decline to identify themselves with either of the extreme parties, because they feel that neither party in their partisanship represent the true position of the Church. They prefer to be Catohlic, but not Roman or Mediae- val. They prefer to be Protestant, but not in the sense of being merely anti-Roman. They take this position not because of timidity or cowardice nor because of ignor- ance, but rather because they are brave to hold a bold vision of the whole Church united, destined to hold sway over the whole world with a teaching that is Biblical, Apostolic and truly Catholic.